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Chapter 5

chapter 5

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Western University
Psychology 2040A/B
Ian Mac Donald

Chapter 5: Physical Development: The Brain, Body, Motor Skills and Sexual Development General growth trends: -rapid growth in first 2 years -growth slows until puberty -changes in body proportions -cephalocaudal development Brain growth spurt -prenatal month 7 to age 2 -brain weight increases dramatically -neurons are basic units of the brain -transmit info via synapses -synaptogenesis proceeds rapidly -glia develop and produce myelin -myelination occurs at different rates -process of coating neurons with myelin sheath -sensory pathways to brain myelinated at birth -proceeds rapidly over first years of life -frontal cortex not fully mylinated until adolescence Motor Development -cephalocaudal: prenatal growth from conception to 5 months when the head grows more than the body. It is also the trend of infants learning to use their upper limbs before their –proximodistal: prenatal growth from 5 months to birth when the fetus grows from the inside of the body outwards. When referring to motor development, the proximodistal trend refers to the development of motor skills from the center of the body outwards. Skill Month when 90% have mastered Lifts head while on stomach 3.2 Rolls over 4.7 Sits without support 7.8 Crawls 9.0 Stands well alone 13.9 Walks well 14.3 Viewpoints on sequencing of motor development -maturation viewpoint: unfolding of a genetically programmed series of events, evidence from cross cultural findings -experiential hypothesis: opportunities to practice are important, evidencefrom early orphanage experience -dynamical systems theory: new skills are active reorganizations of existing skills, reorganization occurs as new, more effective
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